This One Wild and Precious Life

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This One Wild and Precious Life

Mary Oliver wrote a beautiful poem entitled, The Summer Day, which ends with this provocative question: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Those words haunted and taunted me deeply today as I every breath I took reminded me of this day 24 years ago.


The opening bell was just about to ring on the grain trading floor of the Chicago Board of Trade when my dad came over to me and said, "your mom just stopped breathing - wrap things up here quickly and let's jump in the car." For reasons I don't really understand - perhaps it was my somewhat naive, ever-optimistic perspective - it didn't dawn on me until nearly an hour later that she had passed away. The next 24 hours were attended as if watching from a far-off place. I notice as I write this now so many years later that tears flow unabashed, but at that point I couldn’t muster any reaction whatsoever.


So, back to the question… what WILL I DO with this “one wild and precious life?” I am making a commitment to finishing my book by July 2 next year because the words inside me keep begging to be shared and it’s no longer good enough to not be ready, have enough time, not have a publisher, or feel that my voice doesn’t matter. As this precious year unfolds I un-tether my writing voice – letting it run wild through fields of purple prose, free flowing tears and sweet anticipation.


Will you help hold me accountable? Will you join me in asking yourself what is is you're called to do with both reverence and abandon?